King County Unemployment Rate Plummets to 3.3 Percent! $15 Minimum Wage to Blame?

$15 Now

Socialist council member Kshama Sawant, ruining it for the rest of us.

If Seattle businesses are closing up shop in response to our $15 minimum wage, you wouldn’t know it from our falling unemployment rate:

King County’s unemployment rate reach[ed] a low not seen since April 2008, data released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department show.

King County’s unemployment rate in April was 3.3 percent, compared to 4 percent in March and 4.1 percent in April 2014.

Okay, monthly unemployment data is not seasonally adjusted, so the rate will surely rise in May and June as college and high school graduates join the workforce (like it does every year). And of course, it will take years—maybe even a couple decades—to fully suss out the employment effect (if any) of Seattle’s phased-in $15 minimum wage.

But again, if employers are cutting back on hiring in anticipation of rising labor costs—like $15 critics insist a rationally self-interested employer would—you wouldn’t know it from our falling unemployment rate.

But, you know, one crappy chain pizza place closed, so screw the data.

[Cross-posted to]



David "Goldy" Goldstein has written about politics for The Stranger, The Nation and the Huffington Post. He hosted “The David Goldstein Show” on Seattle’s news/talk 710-KIRO from 2006 through 2008, and has been pissing off readers at his blog for more than a decade.